The Usability of Open Source Software by David M. Nichols and Michael B. Twidale Open source communities have successfully developed a great deal of software although most computer users only use proprietary applications. The usability of open source software is often regarded as one reason for this limited distribution. In this paper we review the existing evidence of the usability of open source software and discuss how the characteristics of open source development influence usability. We describe how existing human-computer interaction techniques can be used to leverage distributed networked communities, of developers and users, to address issues of usability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFirst Monday
Issue numberSPEC. ISS. 2
StatePublished - Oct 3 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Law

Cite this

Nichols, D. M., & Twidale, M. B. (2005). The usability of open source software. First Monday, 10(SPEC. ISS. 2).